Torque Values Question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 12 Old May 7th, 2014, 5:16 pm Thread Starter
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Torque Values Question

I have a really nice Snap-on torque wrench set, in 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive. I have no doubt to their accuracy. They measure in foot pounds, and normally I use the google to translate from Newton Meters to the Imperial System.

As per the manual, I have been torqueing various bolts and things to the specified values in the BMW manual, using proper technique. I just don't feel like I'm getting a good enough "tightening" on them. Some of them are no more than finger tight. I just removed the center/side stand mount and skid plate, and really don't feel like those bolts are tight enough. The manual calls for 41 Nm, which I calculated to 30.24 foot pounds.

My question is this: Is this proper procedures? I just don't feel like they are getting tight enough to my normal mechanical standards. Any opinions?
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post #2 of 12 Old May 7th, 2014, 5:51 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

Just remember those bolts are going into aluminum not steel, if you over torque it won't be pretty.
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post #3 of 12 Old May 7th, 2014, 9:51 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

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Originally Posted by WildernessJeep View Post
I have a really nice Snap-on torque wrench set, in 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" drive. I have no doubt to their accuracy. They measure in foot pounds, and normally I use the google to translate from Newton Meters to the Imperial System.

As per the manual, I have been torqueing various bolts and things to the specified values in the BMW manual, using proper technique. I just don't feel like I'm getting a good enough "tightening" on them. Some of them are no more than finger tight. I just removed the center/side stand mount and skid plate, and really don't feel like those bolts are tight enough. The manual calls for 41 Nm, which I calculated to 30.24 foot pounds.

My question is this: Is this proper procedures? I just don't feel like they are getting tight enough to my normal mechanical standards. Any opinions?
Almost everyone will over tighten fasteners if left to feel alone. If you have a good torque wrench and set the proper value on the wrench, rest assured the fastener is tight enough.
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post #4 of 12 Old May 7th, 2014, 10:21 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

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Almost everyone will over tighten fasteners if left to feel alone. If you have a good torque wrench and set the proper value on the wrench, rest assured the fastener is tight enough.
Agreed.

Years ago I saw a film (yes it was that long ago) where 10-12 experienced mechanics were tested in tightening bolts without a torque wrench, EVERY ONE over tightened them. I have always felt I was pretty good at wrench feel, so I tested myself, and yes, overtightened at least 10%.

You have good torque wrenches, be a friend to your bike and use them!
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post #5 of 12 Old May 7th, 2014, 10:30 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

Here is a torque conversion spreadsheet I did about 14 years ago, and put it in my shop manuals.
Attached Files
File Type: xls TorqueConv.xls (25.5 KB, 165 views)

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post #6 of 12 Old May 8th, 2014, 5:13 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

Thanks David.

I likewise over torque, by more than 10% too.

What a lot of folks miss is proper preparation of the fasteners. Clean and dry for some, clean and oiled for some. If using locktite, apply it after using a cleaner/primer and immediately before putting the fastener together. Use of an antiseize, bolt material, material they are going into.

Over torquing is as bad as under torquing.
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post #7 of 12 Old May 9th, 2014, 1:49 am
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Re: Torque Values Question

Please be aware that some antizease like copper coat is a torque multiplier. Light oil is all one needs. Also check for oil in the bottom of a blind hole as hydraulicing the bolt can happen. Eventually the bolts backs off lose when the pressure drops underneath it. I have been a mechanic journeyman for over thirty years and seen it all over that time frame. Steel into aluminum is a pain, stripping out threads easy. Stainless very bad for gauling. But most of all don't stress the small stuff. Don't get to hung up on getting every bolt perfect. Sometimes speed of work completion requires hand feel only. Practice makes perfect.

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post #8 of 12 Old Oct 31st, 2017, 8:47 am
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Re: Torque Values Question

dshealey Thanks for the Torque Conversion chart. Really handy.
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post #9 of 12 Old Nov 1st, 2017, 12:52 am
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Re: Torque Values Question

Chay, a shop manual will say if there is to be "light oil" or not, it will indicate if neversieze is to be used. It will say if Loctite is to be used. (although on older Harleys use it everywhere ) If it says nothing then clean and dry, spray out oil with brake cleaner to get clean and dry in a threaded hole. The engineers incorporate the reduced torque wrench reading on lubed threads. Occasionally you will get a base torque and an additional rotation factor measured in degrees. Your point is well taken. If a substance is added to the threads the actual measured torque on your wrench will be smaller than if dry. Generally by about 15%. Critical fasteners like cylinder head bolts or con rods are generally called out to be clean and oiled. This eliminates many factors of dirt and other nasty friction problems.
I have some bikes come through the shop and the fastener tightness is all over the map. My wire wheel on the grinder gets a good workout when some of these bikes come along. Worst ones are the folks that ride to Alaska and go up that dirt road to god knows where. That calcium used to firm it up is nasty stuff. The bike is basically worth two thirds of what is was when they left.
I feel a factory manual and the complete torque values for whatever your working on is a seriously good investment. Along with a spread of torque wrenches if you're doing a lot of work. You can get by with two, a 3/8" drive and a 1/4" drive for the small stuff. Be sure to get one with a Nm scale on it. Makes life easy. Most have ft/lbs. on them with the Nm which is great.

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post #10 of 12 Old Nov 1st, 2017, 8:06 am
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Re: Torque Values Question

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Chay, a shop manual will say if there is to be "light oil" or not, it will indicate if neversieze is to be used. It will say if Loctite is to be used. (although on older Harleys use it everywhere ) If it says nothing then clean and dry, spray out oil with brake cleaner to get clean and dry in a threaded hole. The engineers incorporate the reduced torque wrench reading on lubed threads. Occasionally you will get a base torque and an additional rotation factor measured in degrees. Your point is well taken. If a substance is added to the threads the actual measured torque on your wrench will be smaller than if dry. Generally by about 15%. Critical fasteners like cylinder head bolts or con rods are generally called out to be clean and oiled. This eliminates many factors of dirt and other nasty friction problems.
I have some bikes come through the shop and the fastener tightness is all over the map. My wire wheel on the grinder gets a good workout when some of these bikes come along. Worst ones are the folks that ride to Alaska and go up that dirt road to god knows where. That calcium used to firm it up is nasty stuff. The bike is basically worth two thirds of what is was when they left.
I feel a factory manual and the complete torque values for whatever your working on is a seriously good investment. Along with a spread of torque wrenches if you're doing a lot of work. You can get by with two, a 3/8" drive and a 1/4" drive for the small stuff. Be sure to get one with a Nm scale on it. Makes life easy. Most have ft/lbs. on them with the Nm which is great.
Yes, clean and dry unless otherwise indicated. I've seen the dry vs lubricated torque values more like 25% different. It depends on bolt material, plated or not, etc., as well.

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post #11 of 12 Old Nov 6th, 2017, 7:44 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

After reading all there posts, there was no mention of calculating "Running torgue" which is the amount of resistance induced on the hardware as it is being tightened. That value needs to be figured in when your tightening your hardware.
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post #12 of 12 Old Nov 6th, 2017, 8:08 pm
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Re: Torque Values Question

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After reading all there posts, there was no mention of calculating "Running torgue" which is the amount of resistance induced on the hardware as it is being tightened. That value needs to be figured in when your tightening your hardware.
That is because it isn't relevant. You are confusing a term generally applied to motors or rotary hydraulics to that of tightening a fastener. Running torque is a somewhat unfortunate term as torque is torque. It is just a twisting force. The issue is that the coefficient of friction is different between surfaces in contact that have no relative motion (static friction) and those with relative motion (sliding or dynamic friction). Running torque is the steady state torque required to keep something rotating against a constant load as compared to the higher initial torque required to start the rotation.

Fasteners are totally different. Torque is used as a surrogate for tensile stress in the fastener. The torque is never at steady state, but ideally ramps smoothly to the desired terminal value. That is why fasteners should be torqued in one smooth motion. The only time static friction is an issue is if you stop short of the desired torque. If you are well short, generally you can start again and still get an accurate tensile stress. If you stop within 30% or less of the desired torque, then static friction may click the wrench before additional tensile stress is achieved. When in doubt, loosen the fastener a d tighten it again.

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